Student turned in model from Warehouse instead of their own work

Hello everyone,

I have something which is probably not a very common issue. One of my Grade 8 students submitted a fantastic project. The problem is, that this is a student, who is usually not performing very well in any subject, not just ICT. When we did SketchUp last school year, her project was one of the worst. This time around it is the best one and it has a lot of unnecessary additional content. When I started to ask questions about it, her answers were not satisfactory, but she claims to have done it by herself. I understand, that remote learning has been challenging for many students but regardless of that, the vast majority did very well on this assignment. Having majored in Computer Engineering I feel that integrity is one of the most important characteristics of a person. I am worried, that if she found this design in the warehouse (which I have combed through without any luck) and she gets away with it, there is a high chance she will do something similar in any subject again. If she would get caught at this stage, the ramifications would be a lot smaller, than doing it at the collegiate level or even later in the business world. Unfortunately, I cannot add the file to this message, but my question is, how can I check if this model exists in the warehouse? Even though I have looked for about 4 hours, I have not been able to locate it, because of the thousands of house projects available it just seems to be impossible. I have used the desktop version to check the author but it says “unknown” everywhere. I hope someone will be able to help me out somehow.

Regards and thanks in advance for any help.

Do you have a desktop version of SketchUp? One possible way to check the model would be to open it in SketchUp Pro or even SketchUp 2017 Make and look at Model Info>Credits. Here’s an example. I open SketchUp for Web and did a 3DWH search for ‘chair’. Took the first one that was presented and put it into the model space. After saving it I opened it in SU2021. You can see the authors listed and neither of them is me.

1 Like

What was the subject of the assignment?
Are there any ‘difficult’ objects?
Can you post an image? Or the Window > Model Info > Statistics?
Strange tag/layer names?

1 Like

You can tell this student that after graduating, if she complete her studies, she will hopefully get a job and she might be on her own to complete some assignments. There will not always be a Warehouse to help her. Maybe some kind colleagues but she will need to know her trade.

As you wrote, integrity his one of the most important quality that someone must show in a serious company.

1 Like

Wow, what a fast reaction. Thank you everyone so much.

So, let me answer all your questions.

I also used the desktop version, I am running a trial, which ends in about 10 days. Author is “unknown”. Under “Component Authors” there is nothing listed. It is a very complex model, the inside has lots of appliances, furniture, etc, the house itself is detailed, too, with solar panels, rain gutters and all sorts of other things.

The assignment was quite simple. Create an apartment which is about 150 m2, plus/minus 10 m2. Put up walls and leave empty spaces for doors, then take furniture, appliances, etc from the warehouse and furnish every room, like kitchen, living room, bed room, bathroom, etc. Do not put a roof on top so it is easier to grade, and they could even leave the outside walls off to place furniture easier and also for me to grade it easier without having to maneuver around too much, so inside walls were enough. 47 other students did it like that, she is the only one, who turned in the project she did.

I uploaded an image. Can I upload the actual project or is it against the rules?

Yes, you are absolutely correct. Unfortunately, at this point she is at a stage where she does not really care much about that, so I feel it will fall on deaf ears. :frowning:

I think this is a good clue that this was not modeled in SketchUp for Schools. The front and back face colors, along with the yellow selection color and the Profiles set to 3 are from a style that hasn’t been used in more than a decade.

Another thing is there are no unused components or materials in the model. I’d be very surprised if the student knows to purge unused components and materials, especially after having looked at the actual work of three or for different students in the last few days. Those students’ work had tons of unused stuff and purging their files reduced file size by between 75 and 99.8%.

Some of the tag names seem to be rather sophisticated for a student to use, it doesn’t meet what I think is the definition of an apartment and there seem to be many elements included (doors and roof for example) that were not supposed to be there according to the instructions for the assignment. There are even photovoltaic cells on the roof. There are also Podium light components in the model. That seems off considering the student isn’t likely to be using Podium for rendering.

The model is done in Architectural units (feet and inches) although your brief indicates meters. As I measure things I’m seeing even feet and inches. The ramp is exactly 6 feet wide for example.

Let’s forget whether or not she ‘cheated’…
You say the brief was to create an apartment which is about 150 m2, plus/minus 10 m2. Put up walls and leave empty spaces for doors, then take furniture, appliances, etc from the warehouse and furnish every room, like kitchen, living room, bed room, bathroom, etc. Do not put a roof on top so it is easier to grade, and they could even leave the outside walls off…

With my ‘judge’s’ hat on…
As the assessor you need to establish its validity…
Is it an ‘apartment’ as defined in the brief - it looks like a small house to me !
Is the ‘apartment’s’ floor area between 140 and 160m² ? easy for you to measure…
Are there openings rather that ‘doors’ - I can see at least one door opening out…
Are there furniture and appliances added - I can see none…
Are the rooms like kitchen, living, bed and bath room modeled ? we can’t see them…
The brief said there should be no ‘roof’ - so either it should not be modeled or it should be assigned a hidden tag [layer] - I can see a roof !
There’s a lot of excessive stuff not mentioned in the brief - e.g. a ‘lawn’, decking, handrails, external planting etc…
This could have been easily deleted or given a hidden tag [layer]…


If she hasn’t ‘cheated’ at all then she has not met your brief in many areas, and so she deserves a low mark

If she has ‘cheated’ then she hasn’t done a very good job of it, and deserves a simple fail.

If she were found to have ‘cheated’ but had she disguised her duplicity much better, then she might have got some credit for her efforts, because even the greatest of artists are not above some plagiarism…

You are expecting students to assemble components like furniture and baths into their plans, and its easy for them to loose sight of the importance of ‘their contribution’ - so to steal a complete building is to them a valid option - it might not wash in an ethics class, but you are teaching 3d-modeling, where such things become blurry !!!


I’ll chime in. I’m a retired CAD teacher and SketchUp has been part of my program since the pre-Google days. I still teach a SketchUp continuing ed class for teachers.

There usually isn’t a way you can keep any student from handing in work they did not do themselves. That is not an issue exclusively with SketchUp or tech ed for that matter.

There are lots of ways to handle this, but you could praise her for the awesome work, where she evidently went above and beyond all of her classmates. Ask her to be the honored teacher for the day and show the other kids how she excelled.

In the future, and I’ve suggested this before, have the students record their work sessions on Loom (with their face) and submit the link along with their file. You won’t watch most of the videos, but when something like this comes up, you’ll have the goods.

I fear that the honorary teacher route could be taken as humiliation and harassment. Be careful if you go that route.

1 Like

It could lead to embarrassment if the suspected student accepted, but if they really did not do their own work, it will never get that far. Of course, the invitation should be made privately. If they did honestly do their own work, it will be a great opportunity for this student to shine.

I’m no teacher but if it were me, and it were possible, I would choose a tricky bit of the model she handed in and ask her to remodel it for me while I watched. Wouldn’t that sort the sheep from the goats?

I agree. Another option, call the student aside and ask, point blank: your grade depends on the answer, is this a dl from the Warehouse? If you get an answer you feel is truthful, give a reasonable amount of time within the students abilities to submit another model. If the answer is untruthful … poor grade.

Yes, I agree with a lot of points made by you.

The tags are one of the biggest indicators, why I believe this student did not do the work. The idea was to design a floorplan and furnish it but during online lessons I would always refer to it as an apartment. And again, 47 other students did exactly that. I have attached a screen shot from a project of a student, who received 100%, for comparison.

The architectural units are also one thing I asked her about. Why did you use feet and inches and not meters. Her answer was vague, but could be valid, but clearly not true, due to how she answered and her word choice. All of this has not been enough to catch her for cheating, though.

This may sound dumb, but Podium light components? What are these?

A lot of you have made many valid points. I have also thought about asking her to remodel something during an online lesson, or to show how she has done some of the elements in her project, because I know she will not be able to do it. The main problem here is, that from what I have heard from other teachers, in crucial moments, suddenly she has problems with the Internet connection, things are breaking up and all sort of other things happen, so I assume, that the same situation will happen here. If we were in a classroom environment this would be so much easier.

1 Like

They are lights designed so that Podium, a rendering application, will recognize and treat them as light sources. there’s one up in the loft (highlighted in yellow) and one in each of the ceiling fans. There’d certainly be no point in putting lights that look like this inside the ceiling fans unless they were being used in the Podium rendering process.

1 Like

Maybe you could ask her to do a different project entirely?

OK, thank you. I have noticed these, too, but I did not know there is more to them than meets the eye.

Whether she ‘cheated’ or not is technically irrelevant, in my opinion, she missed the brief, that’s a fail in my eyes.
Sad that she can’t even cheat properly.

1 Like

I have thought about that, too, but knowing her she will make a huge deal out of this. Why is she being asked to do another one, and knowing her mom, who believes her sweet little daughters every word, there is no support from that end either. This is a tough cookie.